Music Major: Composition Option (B.A.)

Music Major: Composition Option (B.A.)

Student and professor looking at a piece of music

What is music composition?

If you want to develop your skills as a composer while also pursuing a broad liberal arts education, the Bachelor of Arts in music with an option in composition is the degree you should pursue. You’ll study music theory and analysis, the history and literature of music, and world music and technical skills such as ear training and piano as you grow as a composer and performer. This Bachelor of Arts degree option also requires study of a foreign language.

Why study music composition at UNH?

As a music student at UNH, you’ll study composition with nationally and internationally known composition faculty and learn from guest composers. You’ll be able to participate in the university’s dynamic Undergraduate Research Conference, which highlights performances of student composers’ works each spring. Our ensembles include touring chamber and choral groups, as well as orchestras and bands that inspire from the stage to the football field. Our department also hosts dynamic guest artists and lecturers throughout the year and offers a study abroad exchange program with Cardiff University in the U.K.

Potential Careers

  • Composer
  • Music arranger and orchestrator
  • Music industry executive
  • Music professor
  • Performer
  • Songwriter

Department of Music
Paul Creative Arts Center
30 Academic Way
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH  03824

Phone: (603) 862-2404
Fax: (603) 862-3155
E-mail: music.info@unh.edu

Connect with us

This form is only for prospective students who are not already enrolled at UNH. If you are a current UNH student and interested in this program, please reach out to the contact on this page.


Curriculum & Requirements

Students wanting to declare composition as their option must submit a music portfolio in addition to an audition on their major instrument.

The Discovery Program capstone requirement is fulfilled by a final project or a public performance given during the senior year. For students in the composition option, there is a choice of completing a half lecture, half lecture-recital or a half recital including at least one original composition.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Major department courses may not be used to satisfy Discovery category requirements except in the case of a second major. B.A. in music majors may use MUSI 502 History and Literature of Music (a required core course for the major) to satisfy the Inquiry Discovery requirement.

Bachelor of Arts in Music Core Curriculum

MUSI 471
MUSI 472
Theory I
and Theory I
6
MUSI 473
MUSI 474
Ear Training I
and Ear Training I
2
MUSI 475
MUSI 476
Functional Piano I
and Functional Piano I 1
2
MUSI 571
MUSI 572
Theory II
and Theory II
6
MUSI 573
MUSI 574
Ear Training II
and Ear Training II
2
MUSI 575
MUSI 576
Functional Piano II
and Functional Piano II 1
2
MUSI 501
MUSI 502
History and Literature of Music
and History and Literature of Music
6
MUSI 515Music in World Cultures4
MUSI 540Recital Attendance0
Advanced Music History: select one of the following3
MUSI 703
Music of the Renaissance
MUSI 705
Music of the Baroque
MUSI 707
Music of the Classical Period
MUSI 709W
Music of the Romantic Period
MUSI 711
Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries
MUSI 713
Art Song
MUSI 715
Survey of Opera
Select one of the following:3
MUSI 771
Counterpoint
MUSI 781W
Analysis: Form and Structure
MUSI #782W
Analysis: Form and Structure
Performance Study (Applied Lessons): select from the following courses
MUSI 541, MUSI 545, MUSI 546, MUSI 547, MUSI 548, MUSI 549, MUSI 550, MUSI 551, MUSI 552, MUSI 553, MUSI 554, MUSI 555, MUSI 556, MUSI 557, MUSI 558, MUSI 559, MUSI 560, MUSI 561, MUSI 562, MUSI 563, MUSI 564, MUSI 741, MUSI 745, MUSI 746, MUSI 747, MUSI 748, MUSI 749, MUSI 751, MUSI 752, MUSI 753, MUSI 754, MUSI 755, MUSI 756, MUSI 757, MUSI 758, MUSI 759, MUSI 760, MUSI 761, MUSI 762, MUSI 763, MUSI 764
Performing Ensemble: select variable credits from the following courses 2
MUSI 441, MUSI 442, MUSI 448, MUSI 450, MUSI 451, MUSI 452, MUSI 453, MUSI 454, MUSI 455, MUSI 456, MUSI 457, MUSI 459, MUSI 460, MUSI #461, MUSI 462, MUSI 463, MUSI 464
Total Credits36

Music Composition Option Requirements

Degree program has final approval from the National Association of Schools of Music.

Select 6 credits of the following:6
MUSI 771
Counterpoint
MUSI 779
Orchestration
MUSI 781W
Analysis: Form and Structure
MUSI #782W
Analysis: Form and Structure
Select 8 credits of the following:8
MUSI 775
Composition
MUSI 776
Composition
MUSI 777
Advanced Composition
MUSI 731
Conducting
Performance Study (Applied Lessons): select from the following courses4
MUSI 541, MUSI 545, MUSI 546, MUSI 547, MUSI 548, MUSI 549, MUSI 550, MUSI 551, MUSI 552, MUSI 553, MUSI 554, MUSI 555, MUSI 556, MUSI 557, MUSI 558, MUSI 559, MUSI 560, MUSI 561, MUSI 562, MUSI 563, MUSI 564, MUSI 741, MUSI 745, MUSI 746, MUSI 747, MUSI 748, MUSI 749, MUSI 751, MUSI 752, MUSI 753, MUSI 754, MUSI 755, MUSI 756, MUSI 757, MUSI 758, MUSI 759, MUSI 760, MUSI 761, MUSI 762, MUSI 763, MUSI 764
Performing Ensemble: select from the following courses8
MUSI 441, MUSI 442, MUSI 448, MUSI 450, MUSI 451, MUSI 452, MUSI 453, MUSI 454, MUSI 455, MUSI 456, MUSI 457, MUSI 459, MUSI 460, MUSI #461, MUSI 462, MUSI 463, MUSI 464
Total Credits26

Students in the composition option, if not in a lesson studio, will attend composition seminar.

  • Demonstrate the ability to perform a specialization instrument or voice at an appropriate solo level and/or in small ensemble and large ensemble.
  • Aurally identify, analyze, and work conceptually with the elements of music in a variety of musical styles.
  • Students will demonstrate familiarity with musical literature from the formal concert repertory and from musical traditions outside of that repertory.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop and defend musical judgments in writing and in oral presentation.
  • Demonstrate collegiate-level skills in the English language, competence in written and oral communication in English, and fluency in communicating and synthesizing musical, historical and analytical concepts in writing.
  • Demonstrate the ability to create substantial original compositions for solo instrument(s), chamber ensemble, or large ensemble.
  • Present at least one substantial original composition in performance of a lecture, lecture-recital, or recital.

Explore Program Details

Use this checklist to track your completion of major requirements. Always check with your advisor if you have any questions.

B.A., Music Major, Composition Option

For majors entering fall of 2014 or later

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